George Strait Biography
George Harvey Strait (born May 18, 1952), is an American country music artist. He has the most number one hit songs among any artist in any genre in history, totaling 53 number one hit songs. Most recent #1 occurred on September 18, 2006 with "Give It Away" which will be on Strait's new album It Just Comes Natural. Strait has sold a reported 62 million albums, and his certifications from the RIAA include 13 multi-platinum, 30 platinum and 33 gold albums. According to the RIAA, he has received more Gold albums than any other country artist, and he is currently tied with Frank Sinatra in eighth place for the most gold albums of any artist in any musical genre. Strait has received 16 CMA Awards, including consecutive entertainer of the year honors in 1989 and 1990. Strait is often referred to as the "King of Country" and some critics call Strait a living legend. The native Texan is adored by millions of fans around the world for his smooth, honky tonk, traditional country western sound.
Strait was born in Poteet, Texas and grew up in Pearsall, Texas. His father, John Strait, was a junior high school mathematics teacher. The Straits would often leave Pearsall on the weekends and the summers to work at the family's 2,000 acre (8 km²) cattle ranch outside Big Wells, Texas. When he was in fourth grade, Strait's parents divorced. His mother left the family taking his sister with her while he and his brother remained with his father. He began playing with a rock band in high school, but his preference turned to country music. Strait counts country singers Merle Haggard, George Jones, Bob Wills and Hank Williams as his early musical influences.
After graduating from high school, Strait enrolled in university but dropped out and eloped to Mexico with his high school sweetheart, Norma. They repeated their vows in a church in Texas a few weeks later. In 1971, he enlisted in the US Army. During this stint in military service, he began performing with an Army-sponsored band, Rambling Country (who played off the base under the name Santee), when he was stationed in Hawaii. In 1972, while still in Hawaii, George and Norma had their first child, Jenifer. After leaving the army in 1975, Strait returned to his studies, enrolling at Southwest Texas State University (SWT) in San Marcos, Texas. He graduated in 1979 with a degree in agriculture.
While attending SWT, he joined the Ace in the Hole Band. The band played honky tonks and bars around south and central Texas and as far east as Huntsville and Houston. They gained a regional following and opened for national acts such as The Texas Playboys. In the late 1970s, the band recorded several singles in a Houston studio that were released under the Dallas, Texas based "D" record label, but the band ultimately failed (though they do still play as George Strait's touring band under the same name). While playing with the band at night, Strait managed a cattle ranch during the day.
An operator of one of the bars the band had played had connections at MCA Records. In 1981, Strait went to Nashville, Tennessee to team with MCA and try a solo act. Strait has stayed with MCA throughout his career. It was also in 1981 that his and Norma's second child, George Jr., was born.
"Unwound" was his first single and his first Top Ten hit. This was followed by "Down and Out" and then a whole series of #1 singles, beginning with "Fool Hearted Memory" in 1982 (see 1982 in country music). He was one of the best-selling country singers of the 1980s, and one of the few from that decade who survived the influx of pop-country singers such as Garth Brooks in the early 1990s. As of September 2006, Strait has had 41 #1 country singles on the Billboard Chart which broke the record set by Conway Twitty of 40 #1 country singles. Including Radio and Records and the now-defunct Gavin charts, Strait has a total of 53 #1 songs. He also holds the career record for CMA nominations with seventy-three. Strait was the top touring country act of the 1990's and remains one of the most played artists on US radio. Strait's 1995 Box set "Strait Out Of The Box" is the 2nd best selling box set ever with shipments of 8 million in the United States. From 1997 through 2001 Strait headlined the George Strait Country Music Festival which included artists such has Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and many more.
On October 3rd George released his newest album titled "It Just Comes Natural". It contains 15 newly recorded songs using Strait's longtime friend and songwriter, Dean Dillon. The first single off the album, "Give It Away" reached #1 and the title track, "It Just Comes Natural" has been released as the second single off the album and is at #19 on the Billboard Country Charts.
Strait has acted in two feature films. He had a bit part in The Soldier (1982) and Mystery, Alaska and starred in Pure Country (1992). He also appeared as himself in The Horse Whisperer (1998) and Grand Champion (2002).
Pure Country featured George Stait in the lead role as "Dusty". Dusty is a famous country singer who believes his musical sound and concert shows strayed far away from their original country roots. Dusty takes a leave from the road and finds his roots in a small Texas town, while falling in love with a rodeo girl. Dusty eventually goes back to his band and music career, but the return is marked with his original sound and style – Pure Country. Pure Country is a rare film that allows Strait's audience to view him in other roles besides performing at live concerts. Strait as a private person stays far away from the Hollywood and Nashville scenes. Pure Country film was a rare appearance by Strait that will most likely never be done again.
Since 1983, Strait has often appeared at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and recorded his album For the Last Time: Live From the Astrodome the last time the rodeo was staged at the Astrodome in 2002. The event set the record for paid attendance at the Astrodome with 68,266 people. The rodeo event moved to Reliant Stadium in 2003. In 2004, Strait topped the Astrodome attendance with 68,679 people coming to his rodeo concert at the larger stadium. Strait has played to more than 1 million fans at the Houston Rodeo. Strait again played the Houston rodeo February 28, 2006. That night he watched his son Bubba rope in the rodeo before taking the stage.
As pastimes, Strait enjoys fishing, playing golf, and riding motorcycles. He and George Jr. and older brother, Buddy, are avid team ropers and Strait hosts the annual George Strait Team Roping Classic alongside Buddy Strait. He and Norma live in far northwest San Antonio in the wealthy gated community The Dominion as well on a ranch near Cotulla, Texas some 50 miles southeast of San Antonio. Sadly, his daughter Jenifer was killed in an automobile accident in 1986, at the age of thirteen.
George Strait is an artist who has perfected the lifestyle of a musician and family man. When George is not on the road performing he stays close to home spending time with family and friends often not concentrating on his music career. However, he always is listening for another great hit while residing on his southwestern Texas ranch near San Antonio.
1981 "Unwound" - #6 Strait Country
1981 "Down and Out" - #16 Strait Country
1982 "If You're Thinking You Want a Stranger (There's One Coming Home)" - #3 Strait Country
1982 "Fool Hearted Memory" - #1 Strait from the Heart
1983 "Marina Del Rey" - #6 Strait from the Heart
1983 "Amarillo By Morning" - #4 Strait from the Heart
1983 "A Fire I Can't Put Out" - #1 Strait from the Heart
1983 "You Look So Good in Love" - #1 Right or Wrong
1984 "Right or Wrong" - #1 Right or Wrong
1984 "Let's Fall to Pieces Together" - #1 Right or Wrong
1984 "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind" - #1 Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
1985 "The Cowboy Rides Away" - #5 Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
1985 "The Fireman" - #5 Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
1985 "The Chair" - #1 Something Special
1986 "You're Something Special to Me" - #4 Something Special
1986 "Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her" - #1 7
1986 "It Ain't Cool to Be Crazy About You" - #1 7
1987 "Ocean Front Property" - #1 Ocean Front Property
1987 "All My Ex's Live in Texas" - #1 Ocean Front Property
1987 "Am I Blue" - #1 Ocean Front Property
1988 "Famous Last Words of a Fool" - #1 If You Ain't Lovin', You Ain't Livin'
1988 "Baby Blue" - #1 If You Ain't Lovin', You Ain't Livin'
1988 "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')" - #1 If You Ain't Lovin', You Ain't Livin'
1989 "Baby's Gotten Good at Goodbye" - #1 Beyond the Blue Neon
1989 "Overnight Success" - #8 Beyond the Blue Neon
1989 "Hollywood Squares" - #67 Beyond the Blue Neon
1989 "What's Going on in Your World" - #1 Beyond the Blue Neon
1989 "Ace in the Hole" - #1 Beyond the Blue Neon
1990 "Drinking Champagne" - #4 Livin' It Up
1990 "Love Without End, Amen" - #1 Livin' It Up
1990 "I've Come to Expect It from You" - #1 Livin' It Up
1990 "If I Know Me" - #1 Chill of an Early Fall
1990 "You Know Me Better Than That" - #1 Chill of an Early Fall
1991 "The Chill of an Early Fall" - #3 Chill of an Early Fall
1992 "Lovesick Blues" - #24 Chill of an Early Fall
1992 "So Much Like My Dad" - #3 Holding My Own
1992 "Gone as a Girl Can Get" - #5 Holding My Own
1992 "Overnight Male" - #70 Pure Country
1992 "I Cross My Heart" - #1 Pure Country
1993 "Heartland" - #1 Pure Country
1993 "When Did You Stop Loving Me" - #6 Pure Country
1993 "Easy Come, Easy Go" #71 #1 Easy Come, Easy Go
1993 "I'd Like to Have That One Back" - #3 Easy Come, Easy Go
1994 "Lovebug" - #8 Easy Come, Easy Go
1994 "The Man in Love with You" - #4 Easy Come, Easy Go
1994 "The Big One" - #1 Lead On
1995 "You Can't Make a Heart Love Somebody" - #1 Lead On
1995 "Adalida" - #3 Lead On
1995 "Lead On" - #7 Lead On
1995 "Check Yes or No" - #1 Strait Out of the Box
1995 "I Know She Still Loves Me" - #5 Strait Out of the Box
1996 "Blue Clear Sky" - #1 Blue Clear Sky
1996 "Carried Away" - #1 Blue Clear Sky
1996 "I Can Still Make Cheyenne" - #1 Blue Clear Sky
1996 "King of the Mountain" - #19 Blue Clear Sky
1997 "Carrying Your Love with Me" - #1 Carrying Your Love with Me
1997 "One Night at a Time" #59 #1 Carrying Your Love with Me
1997 "Today My World Slipped Away" - #3 Carrying Your Love with Me
1998 "Round About Way" - #1 Carrying Your Love with Me
1998 "I Just Want to Dance with You" #61 #1 One Step at a Time
1998 "True" - #2 One Step at a Time
1998 "We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This" #44 #4 One Step at a Time
1999 "Meanwhile" #38 #4 Always Never the Same
1999 "Write This Down" #27 #1 Always Never the Same